ROM – Italian prosecutors arrested three managers of the company whose cable car crashed in the Alps on Sunday, killing 14 of the 15 passengers. This was a tragedy that shocked the country and raised new questions about the safety of Italian infrastructure.
The managers informed investigators that the cable car’s brake had been deactivated after an early malfunctioning performance. The cabin sped downhill and crashed when one of the cables broke, said Captain Luca Geminale of the Carabinieri military police.
Investigators say they don’t yet know why a cable broke shortly before reaching the station, but they did The emergency brake should have automatically engaged and prevented the car from sliding down the hill. Instead, it reached a speed of around 60 miles per hour before hitting a pylon and crashing into trees over the city of Stresa on Lake Maggiore in northern Italy.
The victims included an Israeli family, several Italians, and one in Iran born man. The only survivor, a five-year-old Israeli boy, is being treated in a hospital in Turin for serious injuries.
The tragedy that struck when Italy began tourism and the Reopening leisure activities has quickly become a scandal. Italy has suffered other infrastructure disasters in recent years due to poor maintenance, neglect or poor safety, including the collapse of a motorway bridge in the northern Italian port of Genoa in 2018, killing 43 people.
The Cable car in Stresa reopened in 2016 after the renovation. However, the managers informed the carabinieri that the emergency brake on one of the cabins had malfunctioned recently, braking the cab repeatedly when it did not and attempted repairs had not resolved the problem. According to Carabinieri, the company had decided to disable the brake instead of ceasing service.
Captain Geminale said the three managers arrested admitted leaving a fork in place to prevent the brake from working . The managers are accused of manslaughter, negligent injury to a minor and violation of safety rules. The accused managers and their lawyers could not be reached for comment.
The prosecutors believe that the cable car company deactivated the emergency brake, otherwise the facility would have had to be closed and a full repair would have been costly. « The system would have needed a more radical intervention with a likely longer interruption, » said Olimpia Bossi, the prosecutor who conducted the investigation into the incident.
The Italian Ministry of Infrastructure Enrico Giovannini announced on Sunday an additional investigation by a committee of experts into the causes of the Disaster. After the tragedy on Sunday, Italy’s head of state, president
Violations of the rules identified as a problem in the Italian infrastructure and called for « strict compliance with safety regulations in all matters relating to passenger transport ».
As part of its economic recovery strategy, the country has drawn up plans for extensive investments in the infrastructure, using funds that the European Union provided to help the continent recover from the pandemic.
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